Flooding Solutions Could Cost $5 Million and Take up to Nine Years
But some residents, officials say village can't wait that long.
A consultant's proposed solutions to alleviate storm water sewer issues in the southwestern portion of Whitefish Bay could cost at least $5 million and take up to nine years to implement.
The multiphased solution to address storm water drainage issues in the area roughly bordered by Ardmore Avenue on the east, Henry Clay Street on the north, Shoreland Avenue on the west and Glendale Avenue on the south could take five to nine years to implement, said Troy Hartjes, of consulting firm Crispell-Snyder.
But for flooded residents, like Michael Nolan, a flooding fix cannot come soon enough.
"Nine years is not an acceptable answer," he told officials Monday night at a meeting where the options were unveiled. About 70 residents attended the meeting.
Nolan lives on the 4700 block of Idlewild Avenue – one of the lowest points in the village. A nearby resident, Susan Moss, said she had water up to her ceiling and ducks in her backyard during the summer's floods.
Trustee James Roemer also urged the consultants and village engineers to find a more timely solution.
"Clearly, we can't wait nine years, and I would argue even five is pushing the limits of patience," he said.
Although the village's Public Works Committee did not approve any of the solutions presented Monday, the consultants recommended a $5 million plan that would lower the grade of the western portion of Cahill Square Park by nine feet, allowing excessive water from Fairmount Avenue to dump into the park and then drain into the Milwaukee River within 24 to 48 hours.
The first phase of the plan would also increase the capacity of a pipe within a portion of Estabrook Park, southwest of the intersection of Diversey Boulevard and Wilson Drive. The final phase of the plan calls for the construction of dual trunk storm sewer on Hollywood and Hampton avenues.
Hartjes said the plan was designed to alleviate flooding from a 10-year storm – not protect the village from the extreme 100-year floods seen this past summer.
"When you get a rain event like this past summer…you can't control that with a storm sewer system," he said.
The $5 million cost estimate only covers the stormwater improvements – not any street or sanitary sewer improvements that may be recommended in a larger, villagewide sanitary sewer and stormwater sewer study scheduled to be completed in April.
That study, overseen by Donahue and Associates, will incorporate information from Crispell-Snyder's stormwater study focused on the southwestern basin.
Crispell-Snyder's proposal will now go before the Long-Term Fiscal Planning Committee before it returns to the Village Board for final action.